Best Pond Filter – A Guide to a Cleaner Pond, with Reviews

The best way to make your pond clean and make it stay that way is a filtration system. Now, which pond filter do you exactly need is based on the type of the pond itself. To know exactly which filter system do you need and which one is the best pond filter at the moment, check out the tips and info below.
There are a few basic things that you need to understand before we get into details. So let’s get started immediately.

Why are pond filters necessary?

best pond filter

Their sole purpose is to bring balance and clean the pond’s ecosystem. It gets rid of sewage, biological waste, and dirt. All these impurities are constantly coming back to the pond which can harm its ecosystem, and in the end the fish as well.
The pond filter system pulls out all the impurities by filtering the dirty water and making it clean and safe for the fish.
There are different types of pond filter, and you should know their traits to determine which one is the best pick for your pond.

Types of pond filters

Types of pond filters
  • In-pond filter. This type of filter is the best to filter for a small pond, it is attached to the pump, and it may require a bio-chamber for cleaning.
  • Skimmer filter. This filter is able to catch large dirt, it draws the pond water and catches large pieces of waste. It is suitable for small and larger ponds.
  • Pressure filter. This filter is mechanical, and it draws the water through the sponge, which traps the dirt and other impurities. It is an above ground pond filter which can also be placed below the waterline, and it is great for large ponds.
  • UV Sterilizer. Technically, it’s a clarifier, not a filter. It kills the microorganisms by changing their cellular structure. Its victims are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and algae. To really keep the pond clean best pond UV sterilizer should be added.
  • Waterfall filter. This filter uses balls and ceramic beads for filtering. It’s placed over the water, and it’s suitable for medium and larger ponds.


Pond filter benefits

best Pond filter benefits
  • It clears the water. Clearing the water is its basic and most important purpose of them all. Clean and healthy environment means clean and healthy fish.
  • It brings the balance to the pond. It maintains the bacterial balance in the pond’s ecosystem which is not achievable without it.
  • Extra features. There are some filters that have a great design, and they even serve as a decoration for the pond as well. They are available in the form of a fountain, a waterfall, etc.

Types of pond filters based on their placement

pond filters based on their placement

There are two types of pond filters based on their placement, submersible and external.
External filters are placed above, and submersible filters are placed below the waterline.
The advantage of submersible filters is that they can be hidden and they can fit perfectly in the decoration of the pond, but they do require more maintenance.
The best external pond filter is very easy to maintain, and it’s very reachable, but since it’s above the ground, it can’t be hidden well as much as the submersible ones.

The volume of the filter

volume of the filter

The first thing you should check is the volume of the filter based on the size of your pond, and the number of fish in it. More fish means more bacteria, and more bacteria require more cleaning. You have to know the size of your pond, so you can check the volume of the filter and make sure that it’s capable of cleaning the pond of that size.

Type of filtration

Type of filtration

There are 3 types of filtration.

  • Biological
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical

Most filters are biological and mechanical, while some newer versions can be the combination of these two types. You can find these features if you find the best all in one pond filter.
Mechanical systems are great for small and large pieces of dirt. The biological one maintains a good balance of the pond’s ecosystem, making it a healthy environment for the fish.
You won’t need a chemical filtration system unless your pond is chemically polluted. Then the only way to clean it is by the chemical filtration system.

Why does a filtration system need UV light?

filtration system need UV light

UV light in the intake is for one purpose only – to bring all the algae together, so they make large pieces. This way it’s very easy for a mechanical filter to clear them out. If you want your pond to be algae free, make sure the filtration system has best pond UV light possible.

Pond filter reviews

Check out some of the recommendations which contain best large pond filter, best pond filter for koi, best UV sterilizer for koi ponds and more. Amongst these picks, you are probably going to find what you are looking for and speed up your search incomparably.

1. TetraPond Bio-Active

While not the company that is focused on gardening, TetraPond produces products mainly focused on fish. They were the fish food company, and they are responsible for most innovations in the fish food industry today.
Later on, the company focused on three markets: ponds, reptiles, and fish. And since that moment they brought a lot of products for maintaining the ponds.
The Bio-Active filter is a great piece of engineering. It’s a mechanical filter that combines the filters with the bio-active mixture. The mixture contains bacteria and microorganisms that turn the pollutants into nitrates that feed the plants in the pond.
After it cleans the dirt and removes the chemical pollutants, it sterilizes algae by using the UV light. Then it collects the algae and flushes them out.
It does require some additional components to work as it should. This piece doesn’t come with a pump. While that is not something odd, it can be an issue with this particular filter, because it has very high flow rate. It requires a really powerful pump to work properly.
Pros:

  • It has the highest flow rate of all filters.
  • It’s effective in large ponds.
  • It comes with a UV clarifier.
  • Very quality built.
  • Very easy to install and set up.
  • Cleans all the dirt in the pond and feeds the pond’s vegetation.

Cons:

  • It requires a powerful pump, which is not included.
  • The flush port needs an additional filter.
  • It requires water refilling.

OASE Filtral UVC 700

This brand is one of the few that specializes in products of this type. They make great filters and pumps. And they are focusing mostly on the water, so the water will be clean, but they do not focus on the wellbeing of the fish.
This doesn’t mean that they are not suitable for fish ponds, it only means that they are more focused on the pond itself than on the animals that live in it. That being said, this model is a great all-in-one filter that comes at a good price point.
It’s probably the cheapest all-in-one system available. But, it does have some limitations. It’s suitable best for small ponds, it’s one of the smallest filters, and it cannot handle large ponds. While it comes with the pump included, it is a pretty weak pump with a low flow rate.
It has the “waterfall” feature, which doesn’t perform like it’s being imagined. The best part of the waterfall feature is that it oxygenates the water. If you have a fairly small pond and you want to have all the parts you need at once, this little package should do the trick.
Pros: 

  • It comes with the pump included.
  • It has a UV clarifier.
  • It’s very affordable considering the whole package.
  • It oxygenates the water it filters.

Cons:

  • It can handle only small ponds.
  • It has a low flow rate.
  • While it has the “waterfall” setting, it’s not powerful enough to do it.


OASE BioSmart 

Another OASE filter, but this time for ponds of medium size with an average fish amount. It has a multi-stage mechanical and biological filtration. It has a series of filter foams in its compact package, and with them, it creates the environment full of good bacteria.
It also feeds the vegetation in the pond by converting the harmful nitrites and ammonia to nitrates. It has a built-in cleaning mechanism and its own temperature gauge. With the surface area filter of this size, it has great biofiltration capability. It’s best to use it in small and medium ponds with small and average fish population.
It’s very easy to use, and it has a cleaning indicator. It doesn’t come with a pump, and it can handle the ponds of up to 10,000 gallons of water. BioSmart can be a great choice for people that want the filtering system that is easy to use and has a lot of features.
Pros:

  • It can handle small, medium and possibly large ponds as well.
  • It has an automatic cleaning system.
  • Very easy to use.
  • It has a water temperature gauge.
  • It has a sludge drain feature.

Cons

  • The outtake is kind of flimsy
  • It doesn’t come with the connections for the outflow; you have to get your own.


Best Choice Products 4000

Best choice products, yes it’s a real brand name, is a slightly young brand which started its business by selling cheap pool tables. You can figure it out based on the name of the company itself that they do not specialize in anything really. Instead, they produce a lot of different products for different markets.
With that in mind, it’s surprising that their pond filter has such good performance. Since water gardens and fish require expert knowledge to achieve a good pond ecosystem. It is pretty effective, and it’s the best koi pond filter on the list, considering its cleaning capacity and flow rate.
But, you can clearly spot the difference between this filter and the others, and this is where the lack of specialization shows the most.
But, it’s one of the fastest cleaning filters out there. And it can handle the ponds that are 2m deep, with no problems. Although it’s not known for its poor quality, it doesn’t always work at its peak performance. And the maintenance is not that convenient.
The backflushing feature it has is nothing special, and it doesn’t do the job that great. In order to really clean the filters as they should be cleaned, the unit has to be disassembled.
Pros:

  • It has a great flow rate, one of the best in the market.
  • It features a UV clarifier.
  • It’s pretty affordable.
  • It can handle ponds that are 2m deep, which makes it great filter for Koi ponds.

Cons:

  • Cleaning it is not an easy or fast process.
  • Flush port need an additional line.
  • The electronic parts are not the best ones around.


Pond Boss FM002P

This filter comes with a whole kit, and it’s an all-in-one kind of filter. While being one of the complete filters out there, it’s also very eco-friendly and energy efficient. If you consider that it comes with a filter, pump, and the nozzle, you come to the conclusion that it saves you a lot of money.
It’s suitable for ponds that are less than 500 gallons. It’s a very quiet filter that saves energy and cares about the environment. It saves you the money when you buy it, because it comes with all the parts needed, and it saves the money in the future because it doesn’t use a lot of electricity. And it’s very affordable in the first place.
It’s very easy to set up and maintain. And it offers you the ability to connect additional parts and decorations, along with the fountain feature.
Pros:

  • The fountain feature looks and sounds great and it aerates the water.
  • The value for the price is unmatched.
  • It does a good job of cleaning the water.
  • Very energy efficient, and a great money saver overall.
  • Eco-friendly.

Cons:
The base is pretty light, and you will need to come up with a way to keep it down.

TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier

This one is specialized for algae elimination. If you want your pond to be absolutely algae free, this is their certain doom. It uses UV light that eliminates the algae and their reproductive capability. It then clumps the dead algae and pumps it out further to the filtration system.
In just five days the pond will be algae free, and it will stay that way as long as this clarifier takes care of it. It is very easy to install and to hide. It’s a durable clarifier that can handle the ponds up to 8800 gallons.
Although it’s only an addition to the filtering system, it can really enhance the system’s capabilities. If your pond filtering system doesn’t have the UV clarifier, then this one might be your best choice. Give it a few days, and your pond water will be clearer than ever.
But, you can witness its full potential on low flow rates, and this is a letdown, but for some pond owners it might be just what they need.
Pros:

  • It’s an affordable UV clarifier.
  • It easy to use and set up.
  • It eliminates all the algae in a matter of five days.
  • It handles the ponds up to 8800 gallons.
  • It’s very durable.

Cons:
It requires a low flow rate to show its full potential

Jebao Pu-36

This system is better than the previous one, and if you ever need an upgrade – here it is! It’s a UV filter that kills a lot of viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa. It’s great for pond usage, and it can be also used in fresh and saltwater. It has a highly effective UV lamp that disrupts the DNA of all the organisms that your ponds shouldn’t be home to.
It’s easy to use it and attach it to the existing pond filter system, and it can be positioned vertically and horizontally. Which gives you a lot of options in concealing. To keep the population of the malicious organisms in your pond at its bare minimum, add this piece to your system and leave worries behind.
You might, however, encounter some issues if you need to replace the UV bulbs, it can be quite tricky. And it might require some longer time to clean the large ponds.
Pros:

  • It features a strong UV light for its price.
  • Works awesome in small and medium ponds.
  • It’s very easy to install it, and it can be installed in a lot of ways.
  • Absolutely destroys all unwanted microorganisms.

Cons:

  • It’s tricky to replace the bulbs.
  • It can be used for large ponds, but it will require a lot more time to do the job.

Fish Mate 1000PUV 

If you own a small pond, and you want to keep it completely clean at all times, this might be the best filter for such pond. It handles up to 1000 gallons of water, and it has a combination of biological filtration and UV light to eliminate the algae.
It’s very easy to install it, and it’s great that it can be placed below and above the waterline. The maintenance is also a piece of cake. Once you install it, give it around seven days, and your pond will be crystal clear. Concealing it will also not going to be a problem at all.
You might, however, encounter some leakage issues. It’s not the norm, but it tends to happen. You might modify it to prevent leakage from happening.
Pros:

  • Super easy to install and conceal.
  • Creates a crystal clear pond ecosystem within a week.
  • Very easy to maintain.
  • Perfect filter for small ponds.

Cons:
You might experience some leakage.



TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit


Aesthetics are important when it comes to ponds, let’s not forget about that. So why not get a filter that is a great addition to the looks of the pond as well? This kit is ready to be used as a filtering system and a fountain. It’s also capable of producing three patterns: bell pattern, spray and frothy pattern.
The fountain heads can be adjusted. It’s a submersible filter that keeps the pond clean, creates a fountain and reduces the chance of clogging at the same time. It comes with the pump included and all fittings and tubing it needs. The pump can drive 325 gallons of water per hour.
While it has all these awesome features, it’s best to use it for small ponds up to 500 gallons. Add a UV clarifier, and you will have a complete package for your little pond to be clear all the time.
Pros:

  • It comes with the pump included.
  • It’s very easy to clean.
  • It’s a complete kit to make the pond water clean, and you get the fountain as well.
  • It has a variable pattern for the fountain.

Cons:
Assembling it can be a bit tricky.

Jebao CF-10

If you’re looking for an external pond filter champion – look no further, because here it is. Especially if you have a natural pond. It has a lot of features, and it's very user-friendly. It’s a combo of mechanical and biological filters, and it can handle the ponds up to 1000 gallons.
The two foam discs in the mechanical part of the filter collect the dirt and help the good bacteria grow to break down the pollutants. The biological part keeps the good bacteria, and it converts the nitrite to nitrates that feed the pond's vegetation.
It also has a UV lamp that will kill all the algae and bring them together for easy removal. It keeps the water that passes through it very close to the UV lamp, which significantly improves the lamp’s effectiveness. It doesn’t come with a pump, and it should be paired with a pump that has a flow of 850-1320 gallons per hour.
Jebao CF-10 is one of the most quality options of pond filters out there, and if you really want to invest into the wellbeing of the fish residing in the pond, it might be your best choice.
Pros:

  • Great value for the price.
  • Very simple to use and set up.
  • It has all necessary filters to keep the pond clean and free of bad microorganisms.
  • Very effective UV system.

Cons:
The build quality is not that amazing.

In conclusion

Considering the type of the pond you own, you can choose the best pond filter that will suit your and your pond’s ecosystem needs. Out of all the examples and recommendations presented, Jebao CF-10 is certainly one of the best ones out there, since it has all the filtering options you can get. The only thing that is missing is the pump, which is usual amongst these products.
If you require a submersible filter system, then your choice should be something else. Nevertheless, all of these examples on the list are selected to satisfy everyone’s special needs.

About the author

Toby Sanders

With more than 15 years of experience in aquarium sector, i'm totally passionate about creating Aquarist Guide blogspot. I enjoy sharing all of my knowledge to help you guys effectively build your own tank. I believe that when you find the easiest way to raise your lovely fish successfully throughout my blog, you will definitely fall in love with fish keeping more than a popular hobby.

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